Tragic Passing of Former Malaysian Ambassador to the United States in Helicopter Crash

April 4, 2015

Tragic Passing of Former Malaysian Ambassador to the United States in Helicopter Crash

obama and JJ

Former Minister, Malaysian Ambassador to the United States and Rompin Parliamentarian Dr. Jamaluddin Jarjis was killed in a helicopter crash near Semenyih this evening. He was 63 years old.

Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai told Bernama that Jamaluddin was among six passengers on board the ill-fated helicopter.

Also killed was Azlin Alias, Private Secretary to Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak. The other four were businessman Dato’ Robert Tan, Pilot Captain Cliff Fournier, co-Pilot Ajdiana Baiziera, and Jamaluddin’s bodyguard identified as Raskan. The helicopter was believed to be on its way back from Najib’s daughter’s wedding reception in Pekan, Pahang.

The helicopter, believed to be owned by a private company, crashed and caught fire at about 4.55pm. According to Fire and Rescue Department, all six bodies were found by 8.15pm.

Bernama reported that the helicopter was seen to have exploded in mid-air before hitting the ground.

A witness, Roslan Harun, 54, a security guard on duty near the scene, said the mishap occurred during heavy rain. “It exploded in mid-air, not so high from the ground. Then, the debris, tail and blades were thrown all over the place,” he told Bernama at the scene.

Roslan said he had wanted to enter the crash site to offer help and assistance, but changed his mind and called the Fire and Rescue Department instead. He said the crash site was about 5km away from Kampung Sungai Pening, or 13km from the Semenyih town.

Jamaluddin had served as a Minister as well as Malaysian Ambassador to the United States.

At the 2013 general election, Jamaluddin won Rompin – a parliamentary seat located in the southern tip of Pahang – by a whopping majority of 15,114 votes against PAS candidate Nuridah Mohd Salleh. He bagged 30,040 votes, more than half of Nuridah’s 14,926. The seat comprises 87 percent Malays, 2 percent Chinese and 8 percent of others, mostly Orang Asli.

GWU Alumni celebrate George Washington’s Birthday

February 7, 2015

GWU Alumni celebrate George Washington’s Birthday

by Din Merican

GWU AluminiFormer graduates of The George Washington University (GWU) gathered today at Le Meridien, Kuala Lumpur for a lunch. This lunch was sponsored by their alma mater to celebrate the birthday of President George Washington, after whom their university  was named.

Thank you to the local host, Farizuddin Aman, Class of 1980, and the University administration from making this gathering possible. It was a success. Dr. Puteri Julie, Class of 1994, has kindly agreed to host another function at her home later this year.

Geroge Washington BustHere’s George!

It was a wonderful opportunity for these graduates to renew their friendship and reconnect with the University which gave them a well-rounded high quality education. They shared fond memories of their time at GWU, and were kept up to date with the rapid and impressive progress of the GWU campus  in Washington DC; they noted with pride that their alma mater had gained a solid  reputation for educational excellence.

The alumni who gathered for this function came from The GW Law School, The George Washington School of Business, The School of Engineering and The Elliot School of International Affairs. Most of them who came were from the Class of 1980’s, 1990’s and 2000’s with one exception and that is super senior Din Merican, who was from the Class of 1970, The George  Washington School of Business.

Here are some of the photographs taken at the function:

GWU Alum Group Photo

GWU Friends


Happy Birthday, Mr. President and thank again The George Washington University for transforming our lives and for the tender loving care while we were under your charge. You made us global citizens. It was indeed an unforgettable experience for all us to be in Washington DC with a great institution.

2014 in Review

December 30, 2014

Thank You for Your Contributions in 2014

Soon we will be into 2015. What a year 2015 can be depends on all of us working together as Malaysians and members of our global community since the Year of the Goat is going to be a tough one. Take comfort, though that tough times don’t last but tough guys do.

Thank you guys–from four corners of the globe, 207 countries to be exact–for your support, ideas and comments in 2014. If only those in power take them seriously and use them as feedback, they can make Malaysia a better place.

I look forward to reading what you have to say about what is posted in 2015 on this public service blog which welcomes comments and views from all sides of politics–right, left and center.It has been educational for me to read your comments, and I hope you too have benefited from this blog.image

You guys and I share a common mission to make Malaysia and the world a great place to live and work. The frustrating part for us Malaysians in particular is that our rich diversity and heritage are not fully appreciated.In fact, they are many in our midst who want to destroy our pluralism. I have not met some of you, but via your comments I have come to know you and enjoy your company very much. So please keep writing and sharing.

My wife, Dr. Kamsiah who monitors this blog (despite her busy schedule as a thoroughly professional ortho-implantologist in private dental practice) has been a source of assistance and inspiration to me. I am greatly indebted to her for her  criticisms, suggestions and ideas about how to make this blog better and more interesting. But I take full responsibility for all its shortcomings. She joins me in wishing you a Happy and Good New Year. Please read this report (below) which is specially prepared by –Din Merican

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 Annual Report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 2,500,000 times in 2014. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 107 days for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Anwar Ibrahim’s D.S.S.A. Award revoked by HRH Sultan of Selangor

December 4, 2014

Anwar Ibrahim’s D.S.S.A. Award revoked by HRH Sultan of Selangor

Commentary by The Malaysian Insider

It must take a lot for any Malay Ruler to strip someone of a royal award.

sultan-selangorToday, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim learnt that the Seri Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah (S.S.S.A.) award given by the Selangor palace in 1992 has been revoked. The royal award bestows the title “Datuk Seri” but of course, Anwar possesses similar awards from other royal households.

These royal awards mean a lot to any politician or businessman, and for civil servants who have served the country. Especially if it comes from one’s own home state.

But the simple fact is we come into the world without titles – just plain old Encik, Cik, Mr. and Miss – and when we finally leave the world, all this worldly baggage has to be left behind – titles, wealth, wives, houses and mansions, super yachts and the latest sports car.

In the past, others have also been stripped off their awards, including the former MCA Deputy President Tan Sri Lee Kim Sai, who lost his Selangor award in 1987. And probably in the future, some others might also lose such awards.

People are still people without titles, and it goes the same for politicians or any leader for that matter. A royal award is meant as a rare recognition and being revoked of one is a royal rebuke.

So, it is within the prerogative of the Selangor Sultan to revoke the royal award which his father had issued but also within the prerogative of Malaysians to have opinions and views about him and other rulers, however pungent they may be.

Anwar Ibrahim Ops LeaderAfter all, what does any man or woman leave behind as their name or legacy once they are dead and gone? Their deeds and misdemeanours, if any.

In Anwar’s case, as is for any other Malaysian politician, their life and legacy is from what they do to serve and lead Malaysia, a constitutional monarchy and a parliamentary democracy. Their ultimate recognition will be from all Malaysians, not the few.

Selamat Hari Raya Idul Fitr Al Mubarak

July 27, 2014

Selamat Hari Raya Idul Fitr Al Mubarak

din and kamJuly 28, 2014 has been declared Syawal 1, 2014 in Malaysia. Dr. Kamsiah and I wish all Muslims and other friends Happy Idul Fitr–Selamat Hari Raya Aidil Fitri–and may tomorrow be a modest time for celebrations  as a mark of respect for those who lost their lives tragically on MH370 and MH 17 and their families. Those Malaysians who are leaving Kuala Lumpur to their respective hometowns for the long weekend, please drive carefully.

Hari Raya 2014Hari Raya–2014

We are grateful to all of you for your support of this blog. Dr. Kamsiah and I have learned a lot from your comments, views and ideas and we want you to keep on sharing your thoughts and feelings about developments in Malaysia and other parts of the world with us and your friends.Please do not be afraid to tell us and others who read this blog what you think. –Dr. Kamsiah and Din Merican

Happy Birthday US of America

July 4, 2014

Happy Birthday, US of America

To Ambassador John Malott, Dr. Satu Lamaye of The East-West Centre, Dr. M. Bakri Musa, Semper Fi, Mr. Bean,  my friends, associates and former classmates at The George Washington School of Business, The George Washington University, Washington DC.

July 4, 2014